Technology

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Revisit: 3 Years Later

Today we’re revisiting the Radeon RX 5700 XT with a 33 game benchmark and for comparison we’re including its old nemesis, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super. For comparison sake, we’ve also included the RTX 3060 which is currently selling for $400 which was the MSRP for both the 5700 XT and 2060 Super back in the day.

The Radeon 5700 XT is now 3-year-old GPU, so we’re somewhat intrigued to see how it stacks today. We revisited this battle a while back and found that the Radeon GPU was ~10% faster than the RTX 2060 Super, but this time we’re throwing even newer games to see how this comparison fares.

For this test we’ll focus exclusively on rasterization performance as the Radeon doesn’t support ray tracing. Not that the 2060 Super’s RT support is all that useful, but opinions will vary there.

To cite one example, the RTX 2060 Super is good for 59 fps on average in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p using the very dialed down medium settings, thus enabling ray tracing would absolutely destroy performance and result in a very sub-60 fps experience. Anyhow, there’d be no point comparing them with just the GeForce using ray tracing as that would be an unfair and less straightforward match. Moreover, if you require ray tracing support, that kind of makes or breaks the decision a lot earlier and you could simply pick up the GeForce graphics card.

Another advantage of the RTX 2060 Super is DLSS. That may become less of a key selling point due to the release and continued progress of FSR, but DLSS remains the superior technology for now and game support is much stronger, although FSR 2.0 is picking up pace.

We won’t include any DLSS or FSR testing today though, rather we’ll be sticking to native performance as it’s cleaner and far less subjective. It’s also worth noting that the image quality of these upscaling technologies can vary a lot from title to title, as well as the various tested resolutions.

Today’s test will serve as an updated comparison between these two GPUs in over 30 games, many of which are new titles such as Forza Horizon 5, Sniper Elite 5, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Dying Light 2, God of War, Halo Infinite, Rainbow Six Extraction, and F1 22.

All testing was conducted on our Ryzen 7 5800X3D test system using 32GB of DDR4-3200 CL14 memory along with the latest available display drivers. In total, 33 games were tested at 1080p and 1440p, and we’ll take a look at the data from around a dozen titles before jumping into the usual breakdown graphs.

Benchmarks

Starting with the new first-person shooter Hunt: Showdown we find that all three GPUs delivered basically the exact same level of performance. Using the high quality preset all managed to push well over 100 fps, though at 1440p we’re looking at more like 80 fps on average, so still a great experience but not ideal for high refresh rate gameplay. It’s impressive to see the 5700 XT not only hanging in there but matching the RTX 3060 in a brand new title.

God of War results are also impressive. Here we have another cutting edge title and the 5700 XT can be seen basically matching the RTX 3060, which means it was able to keep pace with the RTX 2060 Super, too. We’re looking at well over 100 fps at 1080p, this time using the original quality preset which is more of a medium type setting.

Now, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla might be an AMD sponsored title, but it works well with GeForce GPUs, especially after Nvidia sorted performance out last year. However, ACV also responds very well to Resizable Bar and this is currently a weakness of GeForce GPUs in most games that support this feature well.

We see that although the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 3060 are comparable in terms of performance, the 5700 XT is massively faster, delivering almost 30% more performance at 1080p and 23% more at 1440p. That’s a significant performance advantage that results in a noticeable gaming experience improvement.

Another game that responds well to enabling Resizable Bar is Forza Horizon 5 and boy does the 5700 XT blow away the RTX 3060 and in particular the 2060 Super. At 1080p, the Radeon GPU was 25% faster than the 3060 and a massive 34% faster than the 2060 Super. That margin didn’t change much at 1440p where the 5700 XT was 33% faster, pushing up well over 100 fps.

The 5700 XT also powers ahead in Death Stranding, beating the RTX 3060 by a 21% margin at 1080p and 20% at 1440p. It easily brushed the RTX 2060 Super aside with 30% more frames at 1080p and 28% more at 1440p. Granted, all tested GPUs perform well in this game using the very high quality settings, but for a truly high-refresh rate experience the old 5700 XT held up well.

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Moving on to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, the 5700 XT can be seen on top once again, delivering 86 fps at 1080p making it 8% faster than the RTX 3060 and 16% faster than the 2060 Super. While the performance is somewhat comparable to the new RTX 3060, it’s much faster than its $400 competitor in the RTX 2060 Super.

We have another 2022 release in Dying Light 2 and the 5700 XT shows the RTX 3060 who’s boss. This game does support ray tracing and the effects can look very nice, but with just 64 fps with the RTX 3060 and 59 fps for the 2060 Super using the high preset, I’m not sure you’d want to drop frame rates further with RT effects.

Then at 1440p, we’re looking at well below 60 fps for the GeForce GPUs and although the 5700 XT only managed 51 fps, it was still 9% faster than the RTX 3060 and 24% faster than the RTX 2060 Super.

Sniper Elite 5 is another new title and the 5700 XT finds itself well out in front delivering 112 fps on average at 1080p, making it 17% faster than the GeForce GPUs at both tested resolutions. That’s a big performance difference and at 1440p those extra frames were certainly very noticeable.

Watch Dogs Legion is an Nvidia sponsored title, but that doesn’t seem to matter, the 5700 XT was still 16% faster than the RTX 3060 at 1080p and 20% faster than the 2060 Super.

Then at 1440p the Radeon GPU was 11% faster than the 3060 and 18% faster than the 2060 Super, using the slightly dialed down ‘very high’ quality preset.

Cyberpunk 2077 also uses ray traced effects quite well, certainly one of the best examples in our opinion. However, with this class of GPU, visual quality compromises need to be made in order to enable RT effects. For example, we’re only using the medium quality preset in this test, and while the game still looks good, it’s noticeably worse than ‘high’.

At 1440p we’re looking at 67 fps with the 5700 XT which made it 6% faster than the RTX 3060 and 14% faster than the 2060 Super. This means that when using the medium quality preset at 1440p with RT effects enabled you’d be looking at a well below 60 fps. Can’t say we were ever sold on ray tracing for mid-range to low-end Turing GPUs.

Hitman 3 is interesting as it supports Variable Rate Shading and this feature can be used by the RTX 3060 and RTX 2060 Super, but not the 5700 XT as it doesn’t include hardware support. So VRS is disabled on the Radeon GPU, while the VRS Quality was used for the GeForce GPUs.

Despite this, the 5700 XT beat both GPUs at 1080p and roughly matched the RTX 2060 Super at 1440p, trailing the RTX 3060 by 11%, so not a bad result overall. As we understand it, VRS does little to nothing to improve performance in Hitman 3, which will no doubt disappoint those who 3 years ago claimed the 5700 XT was a terrible investment due to its lack of VRS and DX12 Ultimate features.

The 5700 XT performed well in Far Cry 6, delivering 141 fps at 1080p which saw it lead the RTX 3060 by a 22% margin and the 2060 Super by a 26% margin. It was much the same at 1440p, 18% faster than the 3060 and 24% faster than the 2060 Super, so an easy win here for the old 5700 XT.

The Halo Infinite results are similar to what we saw when testing Hunt: Showdown. Performance is somewhat similar across all three GPUs. We’re looking at a 7% increase at 1080p and 6% at 1440p from the Radeon, so small gains over the 2060 Super and probably not enough where you’d notice the difference, but it’s impressive to see the 5700 XT matching the RTX 3060.

We tested Rainbow Six Siege using the medium quality preset. The 5700 XT managed to edge out the RTX 3060 albeit by a mere 3-5%. However, when compared to the 2060 Super, the 5700 XT was clearly faster offering 16% more performance at 1080p and 18% more at 1440p.

33 Game Average

Here’s a look at how the Radeon RX 5700 XT and GeForce RTX 2060 Super stack up across all 33 games tested at 1440p. As you can see, three years later the 5700 XT still has the 2060 Super’s number, beating it on average by a 13% margin.

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There was just a single game where the 5700 XT lost by more than 5%, but 24 cases where it was faster than 5%. In 8 games the Radeon was faster by 20% or more.

Now, this is the really impressive part. As we noted earlier, at the time of writing this revisit, the RTX 3060 costs $400, which was the MSRP for the 5700 XT at launch.

Here we see that on average the much older Radeon GPU was 6% faster on average, and we see multiple instances of 20%+ gains, with just 3 examples of the 5700 XT losing by a 10% or greater margin, with the biggest loss being 13% in The Outer Worlds.

Not bad for ancient technology that doesn’t support DirectX 12 Ultimate.

What We Learned

There you have it. The Radeon RX 5700 XT and GeForce RTX 2060 Super keep battling it out in 2022, along with some RTX 3060 data in there for good measure. It’s remarkable to see both GPUs still performing very well, offering an exceptional 1080p experience with solid 1440p performance if you’re willing to dial down the quality settings a bit.

As for which one of these GPUs gamers should have bought back in 2019, the answer is now obvious. Not only has the Radeon 5700 XT stood the test of time, but with hindsight we know now it was the right play… because no gamer should still own one today.

You may recall during 2021 and the better part of 2022, 5700 XT owners could essentially trade in their used graphics card for a brand new 6700 XT, we kept coming back to this advice for 5700 XT owners in our GPU pricing updates.

Back in January, the average sale price on eBay was $815, down from $900 in December and just over $1,000 in November. Meanwhile, during the same period you could buy a 6700 XT at scalper prices on eBay for $866, $897, and $980, respectively, making the upgrade a straight swap.

During the same period, 2060 Super’s were selling for $648 in January, $677 in December, and $700 in November, 30% less than the 5700 XT because it was less suitable for miners. However, 2060 Super owners couldn’t sell their GPU for a side grade with the RTX 3060.

In our opinion, the 5700 XT vs. RTX 2060 Super battle is a classic example of why you should almost always buy what offers you the most right value now, rather than bank on future proofing.

We knew from day one that the RTX 2060 Super was based on a more forward-thinking architecture. Not only does Turing support ray tracing and DLSS, but it also supports DX12 Ultimate features, as well as Sampler Feedback, Variable Rate Shading and Mesh Shaders.

But three years down the track, how much of a key role have those features played? Except for DLSS perhaps, that question answers itself. We’ve yet to see many of these features used properly in games, or see a title that leverages them to a degree that cripples the competition.

Ray tracing was always questionable on Turing and today we believe it requires at least an RTX 3080 to be properly enjoyed.

DLSS, on the other hand, is an excellent feature that will often prove highly beneficial for the 2060 Super at 1440p and even help achieve playable performance at 4K, so that is a killer feature that’s certainly well worth considering when buying your next GPU. As we noted before, FSR 2.0 is almost as good as DLSS in terms of visual quality, but game support has yet to reach the levels Nvidia has been able to accrue after a few years of pushing DLSS hard.

All of that said, as it stands in mid-2022, the Radeon RX 5700 XT is the superior performer and will provide the most value in the vast majority of games.

It’s somewhat disappointing that three years later the $400 price point hasn’t moved much in terms of price to performance, at least from Nvidia.

You can snag a Radeon RX 6600 XT for $320 now, which basically offers 5700 XT performance for a small discount three years later, though the 6700 XT is just 8% more expensive and offers ~30% more performance, so that would have been great if we were talking about it 2 years ago.

Shopping Shortcuts:
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 on Amazon

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